INDIANAPOLIS - The second annual North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships are set to return to the U.S. National Training Center in Clermont, Fla., this Saturday morning, March 11.
This year's event will feature an expanded field of more than 140 athletes representing 16 national federations of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The NACAC Championships will contest races for the open men's 8 km, open women's 6 km, junior men's 6 km and junior women's 4 km. At last year's inaugural event, the U.S. swept the team titles in each race while also capturing all but the open men's individual title.
With the IAAF World Cross Country Championships to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, on April 1 and 2, the NACAC Championships will give teams and individuals who plan to compete in one last opportunity to asses their training progress.
Consisting of many of the country's top emerging-elite athletes, the Team USA squads feature five athletes who will be competing in Fukuoka. Leading Team USA will be the junior women's silver medalist from the USA Cross Country Championships, McKayla Plank (New Rochelle, N.Y.), and bronze medalist Kauren Tarver (Wrightwood, Calif.). Jordan McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) will run in the junior men's 6 km; and Max King (Bend, Ore.), and Patrick Gildea (Knoxville, Tenn.), are in the open men's 8 km.
King, who has recorded recent third-place finishes in the open men's 12 km at the 2006 USA Cross Country Championships and 2006 USA Men's Half Marathon Championships, returns as the top U.S. performer with a third-place finish at the 2005 NACAC Championships.
The open men's 8 km will also see the return of individual defending champion Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico and runner-up Jose Alfredo Arevalo of Guatemala.
In addition to the American hosts, teams from Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad and Puerto Rico will be competing for team titles at the 2006 NACAC Championships.
Event Schedule - Saturday, March 11, 2006
The NACAC Cross Country Championships begin at 10:30 a.m. with the Junior Women's 4 km race. Followed by the Junior Men's 6 km at 11:00 a.m., the Senior Women's 6 km race at 11:45 and concluding with the Senior Men's 8 km at 12:30.
Information on the NACAC Cross Country Championships may also be obtained online at www.usatf.org/events/2006/NACACXCChampionships.
Team USA Roster
Mckayla Plank New Rochelle, N.Y.
Kauren Tarver Wrightwood, Calif.
Nichole Lister Boston, Mass.
Denise Bargiachi Fayetteville, Ark.
Alicia Pabich Waukesha. Wis.
Jordan McDougal Peru, N.Y.
Landon Peacock Morley, Mich.
Andrew Acosta Oceanside, Calif.
Michael Maag Lake Oswego, Ore.
Jordan Kyle Bloomington, Ind.
Mary Duerbeck Lake Charles, La.
Sally Meyerhoff Durham, N.C.
Rebecca Donaghue State College, Pa.
Collette Liss Indianapolis, Ind.
Shannon Rowbury Durham, N.C.
Patrick Tarpy Providence, R.I.
Ryan Bak Marina, Calif.
Max King Bend, Ore.
Eugene Dennis Fond du lac, Wis.
Patrick Gildea Knoxville, Tenn.